During a recent pig carrion succession study in northwest Florida, United States, we noticed an abundance of spiders but found that literature on spider ecology at carrion is sparse and scattered. We compiled a literature review of 569 carrion succession studies, of which 37 studies specifically mentioned the presence of spiders, with less than a third providing species-level identifications and only half providing family-level identifications. Nineteen spider families have been reported at carrion in the literature. Spiders are recognized as generalist, opportunistic predators in carrion succession studies, but only 38% of the studies that mentioned spiders during carrion succession included any ecological information. Data on spiders in the present experiment were compared to background samples, finding that the difference in abundance was statistically significant for all spider species combined. Seven species of spiders from five families were identified from both background and carrion succession samples; statistical differences in abundance were found for three species: the linyphiid Florinda coccinea and the lycosids Tigrosa annexa and Pirata seminolus. The family Corinnidae is reported from carrion for the first time. This research reviews the existing literature on spider ecology during carrion succession, provides additional data on species identity and abundance, and demonstrates the potential significance of spiders in carrion ecology and forensic investigations.
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